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Whitman College
  • Position Number: 2055422
  • Location: Walla Walla, WA
  • Position Type: Development and Fund Raising

Director of Major Gifts
Whitman College

Located in the historic community of Walla Walla, Whitman's beautiful tree-lined campus is home to an intellectually dynamic, diverse, and supportive community of some 500 staff and faculty and 1,500 students. With an endowment exceeding $500 million, fiercely loyal alumni, exceptional students, and accomplished faculty and staff, Whitman College continues to build on its national reputation for academic excellence ranking as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

The Director of Major Gifts manages Whitman College's major gifts team and program. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Development, the Director develops and implements plans and goals; manages, mentors and guides staff; and is responsible for maintaining a portfolio of 100-120 prospects capable of six- to seven-figure gifts.

This individual will manage the college's major gift officers (currently three staff members) and one administrative staff member. The Director will work closely with key members of planned giving, annual giving, stewardship, and reunion and parent giving staff. The Director will serve as a valued source of fundraising expertise and guidance to the entire development and advancement team. Collaboration with other divisions across campus will ensure the success of the work of the major gifts team.

1.Lead, motivate, mentor and evaluate the Major Gift Officers. Develop goals, plans and performance measures. Monitor activity and progress toward goals. Work across departments and divisions, and with the team and individual officers, develop materials and research to adequately support the successful solicitation of major gifts.
2.Cultivate, solicit and steward a prospect pool in the range of 100-120 major gift prospects, with established goals for in-person visits, solicitations and gift closes per year. Complete call reports in a timely manner to document substantive donor interactions.
3.In partnership with the AVP for Development, develop an annual strategic plan for the major gifts program that identifies specific annual goals (in support of the overall plan for the comprehensive campaign) and a timeline for tracking achievement. Ensure a system for the implementation of double and triple asks during the campaign, partnering with annual and planned giving efforts to maximize success. Track and report project updates on fundraising initiatives and priorities.
4.Serve as a valued source of fundraising expertise and guidance within the division, particularly in the structuring of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for individual prospects and donors capable of gifts of $100,000 or more.
5.Help manage, together with the AVP for Development, the work of key campaign volunteers as they assist in the cultivation and solicitation of major gift prospects.
6.Work with the AVP for Development and the Assistant Director of Prospect Development to create and refine prospect lists, with an eye to appropriate portfolio balance that ensures robust qualification of new prospective donors.
7.Work with the Director of Development Communications and Stewardship to personalize and prepare proposals for gift solicitations.

1.Highly motivated, goal-oriented self-starter with strict adherence to timelines. Ability to be flexible in working in a fast-paced environment with numerous deadlines and pressures.
2.Strong verbal and written communication skills with an attention to detail.
3.Demonstrated history of collaboration with colleagues with an ability to independently execute. Effective interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with volunteers, staff members, administrators, and faculty.
4.Experience in successfully leading and managing individual staff, or teams of staff.
5.Skill in developing and implementing long-term strategic donor solicitation plans. Background of proactively creating, developing, or enhancing fundraising programs in creative or unique ways. Success in managing an individual portfolio of established donors and potential prospects.
6.Understanding of the value of a residential liberal arts and sciences education.
7.Desire to actively and positively contribute to Whitman's core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
8.Familiarity with and ability to learn relevant technology platforms to prepare reports and other written documents using word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.
9.Discretion in dealing with confidential information and demonstrated willingness to uphold high ethical standards.

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Five years of experience in fundraising, including significant success in face-to-face asks for substantial philanthropic gifts.
  • Current valid driver's license and insurable under Whitman's liability policy.

    Requires extensive time at the computer.

    Based in Walla Walla, WA with possibility of remote work from strategic west coast donor metro areas. Major gift work involves evening and weekend commitments and staffing and participating in events. Travel is an integral part of the job. The Director of Major Gifts can expect a week-long trip every month during normal circumstances.

    This position will close on November 25, and applications will be reviewed at that time.

    DESIRED START DATE: January 15, 2021
    For full application instructions and position description, visit

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